Songs About Women: Rachel

On July 11th 2005, my father died
I notarize
through rhyming lines
feel the noose tighten on my father
feel the vice tighten its grip on my father
No, no, no not my Father!

For on July 11th 2005, more than my father died!
On July 11th 2005, my innocence died
On July 11th 2005, my youth died
On July 11th 2005, my self-love died
On July 11th 2005, a part of me died

7 years to a new me

Walking and talking with a dark-skinned Haitian beauty
she said something that got me thinking
Something that got my mental mapping and my neurons linking

5 years to the old me

Somehow, by the powers of the Ugandan sun and/or puberty, I was dark-skinned!
Sure, it had happened gradually,
But, I had never expected it to this extent
Never had I expected to feel so pinned
To the bottom of the barrel of racial inferiority
“I used to be light-skinned! See! Me!”

I proudly proclaimed, hoisting up photos from my youth
When I was young and uncouth
Hurling insults left, right and center at those with a darker shade
“You’re so black, you bleed ink!”
I said with a smile on my face

Now I was the one, who merely had to blink to indicate
“Turn right”
[right eye blinks]

Light is right
Team Lightskin…no more

Years four

Burning with righteous indignation at the societal advantages that my light-skinned friends had over me,
I was-
Simply jealous
I used to be light-skinned, I knew what it is was like
Light is might!
“You perceived”
“You perceived”
Rachel cut through my reverie

As she spoke,
her grounded tones
flashed me forward to the present breeze
“You perceived”
Rachel said, and as our conversation continued and we walked and talked
I gawked

Now, I don’t remember exactly what was said
But I know I am forever indebted
For I had heard it all before:
“The Blacker the Berry the sweeter the juice!
Black is beautiful!
But none of these did a thing for me
For none of them addressed the bonds of mental slavery
That shackled me
None addressed my perceived inferiority

I don’t remember exactly what Rachel said to me
But I know that, on July 11th 2005, a part of me died
And on that third day, Rachel resurrected a part of me

Oftentimes, you have the sensitive heterosexual poet write poetry to their significant others over and over again. I have a lot of women in my life that I wholeheartedly respect and love, the majority of my close friends are women and they inspire me everyday.  ‘Rachel’ is a poem dedicated to my dear friend Rachel and part of a book of poetry I am working on titled ‘Songs about Women’. ‘Songs About Women’ is about several women in my life who have had a great impact on me non-romantically. I feel like a lot of poetry and music centers on romantic relationships between men and women and friendship between the opposite sex isn’t really celebrated in the same way or even believed in. I have a lot of beautiful friendships with women who I love and want to give homage to through my poetry ❤ 


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